Cousins! – San Diego Family Photographer

Meet cousins Lilly and Joe! (click on the photos to see them larger)

Joe’s Daddy and Mommy were having a family BBQ and invited me along to take photos of their fun day!  Joe climbed into a cute little tree in the backyard. He climbed pretty high for a 4 year old (about 4 feet)! He was perched in the tree for this photo.

Lilly got in the tree too!  Actually she was gently placed there by her mom :) How cute are her sparkly shoes?!

Her little smile kills me…

So does her personality! HA! Love her!

Quick family photo…

Love the next two photos of the adorable cousins playing in the yard!

See that smile again!

…and the curls…

Finally, what would a BBQ be without the BBQ!?

 

 

 

 

Caramel Brownies

Caramel Brownies! I think my first attempt at brownies from scratch should not have been this complicated (layers of caramel and chocolate chips). Ok, well they didn’t turn out exactly as planned, but even bad brownies are good brownies!

Not sure exactly where I went wrong as I had followed the recipe exactly. But the caramel seemed to just soak into the top and bottom layers rather then staying all yummy and gooey in the middle. The brownie I cut below was one of the only ones that even remotely looked like the photo on the recipe. Oh well! They all got eaten anyway ;)

Homemade Pesto! Super easy…

That’s right! Homemade. Pesto. Easy. Seriously! First, I bought a basil plant in the store where I buy my produce. It was on sale for $2.99. It was full with leaves when I purchased it, but I let it grow for about another week. It sucked down tons of water everyday! Isn’t it pretty? It smelled awesome and was such a pretty green.

Such simple ingredients! That is it! Pine nuts are expensive, so see if you can buy them when they go on sale. It will make your cost per portion go way down!

Put them all in the blender and wham-o! Deliciousness!

Here is the final product with the poor naked basil plant plucked clean. I’m trying to keep it alive and make it grow leaves back. Any tips?

Ah, and now the pesto on whole wheat pasta! Mangia!

Rice Krispie Treats – July 4th Style

OK, well this post is a little delayed, but I made these Rice Krispie treats for a July 4th get-together. They didn’t turn out exactly like I wanted (more on that below) but, they still went over like gang-busters!

Making Rice Krispie treats can be REALLY easy if you know what’s coming. If you are not prepared or used the wrong tools, you end up with a sticky mess (but still very delicious)! The first challenge is melting the marshmallows without burning them or the butter they are in.

You have to keep a CLOSE eye on them…and when they are almost all melted, just keep stiring until all the last bits are completely melted away.

Then add in the Rice Krispies and carefully stir together (trying not to fling the cereal all over the kitchen) until all the cereal is nice and coated with the marshmallow goo!

Next, dump the mixture int your dish and here is my TIP! Put a tiny pit of water on your hands and QUICKLY press down the mixture into the dish. If you work too slowly it will start sticking to your hands! If this happens go ahead and eat those yummy bits, then wash your hands and try again! Do not, I repeat, do not try and use a tool, like a spatula or plastic wrap to press down the mixture. It doesn’t work and is messy! How yummy does that tray look! I could eat a whole batch!

Because these treats were for a party, I wanted to make them festive! The plan was to use these white candies I had leftover from another dessert project. I had only a few, but it was JUST enough!

I put them in the microwave and melted in approximately 30 second increments until they were all melted.

These were my other fun tools!

This picture was supposed to be halfway through the process. First step was to dip the treats into the white candy. CHECK! Then sprinkle with blue sugar. CHECK!

Next step was to color the left over white candy with red food coloring and drizzle it all over the treats! Below you can see me adding the red coloring.

That is where it all went wrong! HAHA! I kept adding more color to try and get a pretty red color (not pink) and I guess I added too much color because the candy seized up and became HARD! Some sort of strange chemical reaction.

So, onto plan B: I just added red sugar to the blue sugar that was already there! And, voila! July 4th Treats!

Aloooo-haaa!

I’ve always heard and seen in pictures/movies/TV how beautiful Hawaii is, but WOW, it really is! I recently made my first trip to Hawaii, to the island of Oahu. The weather? Forget about it! Hawaii has ruined San Diego for me!  Just thinking about the warm ocean water makes me feel more relaxed…ahhhhhhh. I can not WAIT to go back. Hopefully someday very soon, because the little 3 day tease I had, well, that was just mean!

As you probably know, I usually don’t take too many landscapes or artsy images, but occasionally it does happen! Like in New York City and Hawaii, because it is just too beautiful!

We went for an ATV tour (yes, I drove an ATV!) on Kualoa Ranch. They do lots of things there, including filming for movies and TV. This is where they did a lot of filming for LOST. It was so pretty, although when the tour was over we were DIRTY, covered head to toe in dirt from the ATVs!

This crazy looking dish will start the “food” portion of our tour. From what I gather, this is a traditional Hawaiian dish (please correct me if I am wrong) that was invented for hungry surfers and is high in protein and carbs. It is basically white rice, a hamburger patty, an egg and gravy. It’s called “Loco-Moco”…crazy!

I had to share this image because it was THE best shave ice I had in Hawaii and I’m sad because I didn’t order it! It came from Hawaiian Island X-treme Smoothie & Shaved Ice, a food truck next to the famous Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. And yes, for those wondering, it is called shave ice, not shaved. After a little research I found that shave ice is different then what we call snow cones in that shave ice is finer (like a powder) as opposed to chunky like a snow cone.

Giovanni’s Shrimp came highly recommended! Personally, I don’t like shrimp, but my travel companions said this really was amazing shrimp! So instead of eating, I documented!

All the colors were so vivid!

I’d like to close out this post with this photo that I call “Ahhhhhhhhhhhh….”  ; )

San Diego Photographer – Baking Fun!

Birthdays are special occasions and I think they require sweets! Namely a cake. Usually I don’t make cake.  I stick with cupcakes and brownies…both always go over well. (It must be the extra love I put in them!) This weekend though, I stepped outside the box. I made a cake, rice krispy treats and of course, cupcakes.

So simple & oh so yummy! These rice krispy treats were a hit! I think this maybe become my new get-together staple :)

I must admit,  I “borrowed” this idea from something I saw online because the birthday boy was so excited to see “Watchmen”! The smile face with dripping blood is the logo of the movie / graphic novel.